Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Now, there’s obviously times when talent trumps positional need. If Sammy Watkins (no relation) or Mike Evans is available when the Steelers are on the clock, then my stance on this could certainly change.
That being said, it appears that by closing the year on a three-game win streak, the Steelers might’ve played their way out of acquiring either of these young studs.
With Emmanuel Sanders’ time in Pittsburgh likely up, the Steelers have a hole to fill across from Antonio Brown. After all, 10 touchdowns or not, Jerricho Cotchery is best suited to the team’s third receiver role.
However, two factors make the wide receiver position one the Steelers can afford to wait on.
For one, this year’s draft is very deep at the receiver spot. Even if the Steelers choose to bypass a receiver in the first round, they should still be afforded a bevy of options in later rounds.
At least one of Jalen Strong, Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jordan Matthews should be available when the Steelers are on the clock in Round 2.
Along with that, it’s still too early to close the door on Markus Wheaton. Like Sanders and Mike Wallace before him, Wheaton was a third-round pick at the wide receiver position.
Wheaton underwhelmed in his rookie season, catching all of six balls. In fairness, he was behind five players who hauled in at least 40 receptions.
Wheaton was a stud at Oregon State during his senior year with over 1,300 total yards and 13 scores. He also had an impressive 2013 preseason with 150 yards from scrimmage and a 34-yard touchdown grab against the Chiefs.
With all that taken into consideration, the Steelers will likely be hesitant to spend a first-rounder on a receiver.